Responding to Craigforth's findings, Commissioner Rosemary Agnew said:
"I wanted this research to replicate as far as possible the experience of the average person trying to find information about public authorities. While Craigforth are experienced researchers, they are not FOI experts and that was important.
The findings were mixed. It's very positive to confirm that the overwhelming majority of authorities publish easily accessible guides to the information they make available. But it's disappointing to learn that such important information on spending and procurement too often could not be found. It is also unacceptable that around one in five requests for help went unanswered.
Freedom of information requires authorities to publish information, and to help anyone who wants to access it. Easy access to information is fundamental to citizen engagement. It is also an important part of establishing a relationship of trust and accountability, without which confidence in public services is undermined."